The Best American Mystery Stories 2010by Lee Child (Editor), Otto Penzler (Editor)
Best-selling novelist Lee Child edits this latest collection of the genre's finest from the past year. Featuring "gritty tales told with panache," this is a "must-read for anybody who cares about crime stories" ("Booklist").
"The 20 short stories in the 14th edition of this “best of” series offer a wider variety than some of its predecessors...While this volume contains relatively few household names, the quality certainly doesn’t suffer as a result."Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"Penzler’s foreword...in favor of an eclectic mix of tales that exhibit crime in all its varieties in every corner of the world—and then some."Kirkus Reviews
Guest editor Child chooses 20 atmospheric tales whose settings and crimes are all over the map in this 14th entry in Penzler's annual series.
Crime is everywhere. In teeming Campeche City on the Yucatán, a hit man catches up with a fugitive in Gary Alexander's "Charlie and the Pirates." In Jon Land's "Killing Time," another hitter hides in plain sight at a Connecticut boarding school. R.A. Allen's nomadic waiter, who could be named Robert, seeks sexual fulfillment on Florida's panhandle in "The Emerald Coast"; a Boston priest is accused of sexual misconduct in John Dufresne's "The Cross-Eyed Bear." Lyndsay Faye's Sherlock Holmes pastiche "The Case of Colonel Warburton's Madness" takes Dr. Watson to the home of a San Franciscan fixated on the phantom Mexicans, while Gar Anthony Haywood's "The First Rule Is" explores the relationship between Los Angeles's haves and have-nots. Back on the East Coast, Dennis Lehane unfolds the tender story of a man, a dog and a murder in "Animal Rescue." Moving from North Dakota to Jersey does little to improve a call girl's luck in Allan Tucher's "Bismarck Rules." Russian-born Zhenya, whose father makes sexual exploitation a thriving business in Joseph Wallace's "Custom Sets," criss-crosses the country from Philadelphia to Fort Worth, seeking justice. Crime persists even beyond the grave, as the late Kurt Vonnegut's "Ed Luby's Key Club" proves.
Penzler's foreword makes no bones about spurning traditional whodunits in favor of an eclectic mix of tales that exhibit crime in all its varieties in every corner of the world—and then some.
Meet the Author
OTTO PENZLER is a renowned mystery editor, publisher, columnist, and owner of New York's The Mysterious Bookshop, the oldest and largest bookstore solely dedicated to mystery fiction. He has edited more than fifty crime-fiction anthologies.
LEE CHILD is the author of thirteen Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, and #1 bestsellers Bad Luck and Trouble and Nothing to Lose. All his titles have been optioned for major motion pictures.
- Birmingham, England
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth:
- Coventry, England
- Sheffield University
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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'The Best American Mystery Stories 2010,' edited by Lee Child, contains an interesting mix. Twenty stories by authors as diverse as Dennis Lehane, Kurt Vonnegut, Doug Allyn, and Jay Brandon take varied and unexpected turns. Three, however, stand out. Jay Brandon's 'A Jury of His Peers,' based on a historical incident, recounts the return of lawyers, who had been kidnapped and held for ransom by Santa Ana's army, to San Antonio. When after a year or more away from their practices and loved ones, the lawyers return to reclaim what they left behind, it is no surprise that violence erupts. Phyllis Cohen's 'Designer Justice' also deals with the effects of violence; it depicts a violent crime and its unexpected aftermath. And 'Killing Time' by Jon Land introduces Mr. Beechum, middle school language arts teacher extraordinary, who is not only able to interest his charges in fiction, he is also able to protect them from the unforeseen. While no one reader will necessarily equally enjoy all the stories, there is enough variety to appeal to those who enjoy the genre. And the short story format is well suited to busy lifestyles. The bottom line: Five stars.
This is a great collection of short stories that should entertain any mystery fan. Within the mystery genre, this book offers a little bit from every subgenre, including suspense, police procedurals, espionage, and private detective. Not every story was a 5 star for me but that likely spoke more of personal preference than writing talent. This collection is a great way to discover new authors, many of whom also write full-length novels. Overall, I found the stories highly entertaining. ** I received this book as an early review copy from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, through NetGalley.com. **